How could you leave your husband? What will society say? What will happen to your kids? This is what a woman is asked when she gathers the courage to leave an abusive marriage.
Sometimes even the strongest of women accept to stay back in a toxic relationship just for the sake of her kids’ better future. She believes the lies that society tells her about how kids from broken homes are also broken or how incapable she is of taking care of the kids.
Finding herself alone to stand against the abuse, she accepts and agrees to suffer in silence. But sadly no one tells her how her kids get affected if she chooses to stay in a toxic marriage. No one tells her the misery and the suffering that kids go through when they see one of the parents abusing the other. One such story is of this mother, whose daughter raised her voice to save her from a toxic husband.
While sharing with HoB about her parent’s toxic marriage and how she saw her mother suffer for years, this brave daughter shared:
“Home was never a safe space. I had an alcoholic dad who treated mom like a slave. When mom was pregnant with me no one drove her to the hospital for delivery; Dad was too drunk, so she took a taxi.
Everyday, mom’s life was a living hell. Dad never spent a minute sober, couldn’t hold a job and did horrible things to get money to buy alcohol. He came from a rich family, but he never asked them. Instead, he blackmailed mom into giving him the salary which she got from designing mithai boxes.
When I was 5, I saw him shove a pillow in her face until she gasped for breath. When I was 7, he grabbed my 2-year-old brother, hung him upside down from the balcony and threatened to throw him off the ledge–he stopped only when mum threw her wallet at him. I never knew when dad would have his next outburst. Mom even said, ‘I wish I could just die.’ But she kept going, for us.
She tried everything to make it work. She worked hard to provide for us and admitted dad into rehab hoping things would finally change. But when dad twisted her hand, and threw a cup at her in a drunken rage, Mom left with us and swore to never look back.
We had no money and nowhere to go. So, mom sold her jewellery and gathered her savings to rent a flat. She’d spend hours on the road selling her mithai boxes just so we could stay at school. Sometimes, she’d skip meals so we didn’t go hungry. Still, she never took a rupee from Dad.
It was tough growing up like that. When my friends went to restaurants, I’d stay home because I didn’t have the money, and when most fathers came to school competitions, no one showed up for me–mom was working and dad didn’t care. I’d even come home to see mom crying because of how lonely she felt. But as soon as she saw me, she’d wipe her tears, smile and ask, ‘Aaj kya kiya school mein?’
Mom worked day and night to give us a better life–she created new designs and spent all day on the street selling them. Soon things began to look up–orders came in quickly and mom hired another person to help. Within the next couple of years, she grew rapidly; she started her own company and went from working at home to an office with a team of 15. I remember her celebrating by taking us all out to eat at a restaurant for the first time!
Today, we’re finally happy. We have a small world of our own; a safe space which I can finally call home. We’re free and living life on our terms–all because of mom. When life hit her hard, she fought back even harder and when I grow up, I want to be just like her–a strong woman who knows exactly what she’s worth.”
At IFORHER, we celebrate this daughter’s courage as she not only pulled out her mom from suffering in a toxic relationship but also saved herself and her brother from suffering. We hope her story will inspire more women to speak up against the abuses they face and stand up for their dignity.